Founded in 1892, Industrial Alliance or iA Financial Group is among the largest wealth management and insurance groups in Canada and in North America in general. Its headquarter is located in Quebec.
In the Canadian market, iA Financial Group has four main units: Individual Insurance and Individual Wealth Management; Group Insurance and Group Savings and Retirement. In Quebec only, it has a subsidiary which is iA auto and home insurance. Besides, it also has operations in the US, providing individual insurance and dealer services.
According to the latest statistics in 2020, iA Financial Group has served over 4 million clients, with 8,100 employees and 25,000 representatives. The company has $210.5 billion in assets and $5.9 billion in terms of market capitalization. The corporation is ranked as the 5th largest Canadian insurance provider, making up 10% of the individual insurance market share.
Industrial Alliance receives excellent ratings, which guarantee their clients of their financial capacity. To be specific, it receives A+ (Strong) from Standard & Poor, A (High) from DBRS and A+ (Superior) from A.M. Best.
Access Life is a simplified issue life insurance plan that doesn’t require the insured to undertake any medical underwriting. It is designed for those who have health problems, including children and adults. Canadians from 6 months to 80 years can apply for this plan.
Industrial Alliance provides term coverage under this plan, including T15, T20 and T25 (term-15, term-20 and term-25). The premium is guaranteed throughout the policy’s period, and policyholders can renew their term or convert their term policy into permanent coverage regardless of their health conditions.
In order to apply for these, policyholders need to answer a few questions, which are separated into three steps: Deferred, Deferred Plus and Immediate Plus. If they do not qualify for Deferred, they will still qualify for Guaranteed Access. T15, T20 and T25 are only available for Deferred Plus and Immediate Plus.
Pick-A-Term is a traditional term life insurance plan that is designed for young families who have dependents. Pick-A-Term offers terms that last from 10 to 40 years, with guaranteed renewal and fixed insurance premium. Like Access Life, policyholders of this plan can turn Pick-A-Term into permanent life insurance before they get 71. The face amount of this plan can be up to $10,000,000.
To qualify for this plan, medical underwriting is required. Based on the medical results, the price will vary accordingly. To understand how much this plan is, please refer to the tables below:
Table 1. Pick-A-Term, Coverage $300000, Age 30, Monthly Premium, Preferred Health Class
Permanent life insurance
iA offers whole life insurance policies that cater to the lifelong insurance needs of families and individuals. This plan provides fixed and guaranteed premiums. The face amount can be up to $10 million.
Let’s look at how this plan cost at the following table:
Table 2. Whole life, Coverage $500000, Monthly Premium, Regular Plus Health Class
This is a no medical permanent life insurance plan for those who have serious health problems. Access Life whole life coverage shares the same features as Access Life term coverage, except for the fact that its face amount is higher, up to $500,000.
Child Life & Health Duo
This plan is specialized for children. It includes life protection and provides coverage in the event of a covered critical illness. The premium is fully paid by the time the child turns. The face amount of the policy is $500,000 in maximum. Child Life & Health Duo includes surrender value and guaranteed insurability. This means that later in life when the child wants to apply for a new policy, they will always get approved regardless of their health status.
Life and Serenity 65
This plan is for elders who seek financial protection from the age of 65 in the event of loss of autonomy. If they suffer from Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, paralysis or loss of autonomy, they will get a monthly annuity. Premiums can be paid before the insured gets to age 100. The plan has a face value of up to $1 billion.
iA Participating life insurance (iA PAR)
Participating life insurance is permanent life insurance that gives policyholders the opportunities to receive annual dividends. They can use the dividends to obtain paid-up insurance to increase their death benefit and the cash surrender value.
In this plan, the cash surrender value, death benefit and premiums of the basic coverage are fully guaranteed. Depending on the situation, policyholders can pay the premium over a chosen period of 10 years or 20 years. Or they can choose to pay it until age 100.
|Payable 10 years||Payable 20 years||Payable up to 100 years|
|Individual||0 to 85 years||0 to 80 years||0 to 75 years|
|Joint-last-to-die||15 to 85 years||15 to 80 years||15 to 75 years|
Table 4. iA PAR. Age at issue
There are four dividend options in this plan:
|1||Paid-up additions||dividends are put towards the purchase of paid-up insurance|
maximizes the coverage amount and increases the total cash surrender value.
|2||Annual premium reduction||use dividends to pay part of the next annual premium without affecting the amount of coverage amount in the event of death|
|3||Payable in cash||receive annual dividend payments in cash without affecting the amount of coverage amount in the event of death (tax consequences can occur)|
|4||Deposit with interest||receive annual dividends in a savings account managed by iA Financial Group, which is taxed at the end of the year (tax consequences can occur)|
Table 5. iA PAR, dividend options
There are four riders that one can purchase, including term life insurance coverage from 10 to 30 years, waiver of premiums in case of disability, accidental death coverage, child life insurance rider.
Policyholders can have access to cash via dividends or the cash surrender value through partial withdrawals, disability benefits, policy loans or loans with financial institutions (there are conditions for this).
Universal life insurance
This is universal life insurance that provides both lifelong coverage and saving needs. When you buy this plan, a portion of premiums will be used to cover the insurance cost and taxes. The excess is invested according to your investment option. The savings portion is invested and generates tax-free income. There is an investment bonus of 0.75% in the first year for all index accounts.
Like other universal life products, Genesis allows policyholders to have a guaranteed premium and they can choose to pay for it within terms of 10, 15 or 20 years. Or else, policyholders can choose to pay less at the beginning and more later, depending on their financial situations. This option, known as the Yearly renewable term (YRT), is payable until policyholders get 90.
One plus point of Genesis is that it entails disability benefits. This means that the insured can access the money in their accumulation fund if they suffer from a disability caused by an accident or illness.
Compared to other similar products in the market, Genesis has quite a variety of investment options. These include guaranteed interest accounts, index accounts, market index accounts, diversified strategy accounts and active management accounts.
This option offers growing coverage and a guarantee at death. The policy allows the policyholders to pay within 15 years, and the death benefit will include the face amount of the policy plus the fund.
Health and disability insurance
iA is one of the few insurance providers that provide a wide variety of health and disability insurance for their clients. At present, they offer three categories of products, including: disability and income insurance, critical illness insurance, and accident insurance
Disability and income insurance
This plan is for those who want to prepare a source of income in the event of disability due to a covered illness or accident. Policyholders can receive up to $10,000 each month within periods of 2 years or 5 years, or they can choose to receive the money until they get 65. Individual insurance disability benefits are not taxed. This is a suitable plan for employees who do not have group disability insurance at their workplace, self-employed workers and small business owners.
iA offers four disability and income insurance products as follows:
|Superior Program||Acci-Jet Program||Universal Loan Insurance||Acci 7 Plus|
|Coverage||Income or general business expenses||Income or general business expenses||All your loans + rent||Monthly disability benefits|
|Monthly benefit amount||Up to $10,000||Up to $6,000||Up to $5,000||$700 to $1,400|
|Eligible age||18 to 59||18 to 69||18 to 59||18 to 74|
|Coverage period||Up to age 65||Up to age 75||Up to age 65||Up to age 80|
|Minimum number of working hours||21 hours per week OR 8 months per year for a total of 1050 hours||21 hours per week OR 8 months per year for a total of 735 hours||21 hours per week OR 8 months per year for a total of 1050 hours||None|
|Covered conditions||Accident or illness; or accident only||Accident or injury to muscles or ligaments; illness option||Accident and illness||Accident|
|Option to cover general business expenses||up to $6,000 per month||up to $6,000 per month||None||None|
Critical illness insurance
As the name suggests, this plan is critical illness insurance coverage. iA provides 4 products under this category as follow:
|Transition – 25 illnesses||Acci-Jet Program||Cancer Guard||Kiddy Plan|
|Insurance amount||$10,000 to $2,500,000||$10,000 to $2,500,000||$5,000 to $150,000||Up to $2,000|
|Covered illnesses||25 critical illnesses + 5 childhood illnesses*||4 illnesses (life-threatening cancer, stroke, heart attack, coronary artery bypass surgery)+ 5 childhood illnesses*||Most cancers||–|
|Coverage terms||10/20/25 years, to age 75, or for life||10/20 years or to age 75||12 months|
*5 childhood illnesses (covered up to age 25): Type 1 diabetes mellitus, muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, congenital heart disease, cerebral palsy
iA provides three accident insurance plans, including:
|Accifamily||Acci 7 PLUS||Peek-a-Boo Plan (free)|
|Type of payout||Lump sum||Lump sum and/or monthly payment||Lump sum|
|Eligible age||0-75||0- 74||15 days to 12 months|
|Insurance amount||Up to $50,000||Varies||Up to $150,000|
|Covered conditions||Death, accidental dismemberment, fracture and loss of use||Death, accidental dismemberment, loss of use, fracture, disability in case of accident, hospitalization and medical care (*depending on the coverage chosen)||Death, accidental dismemberment, fracture and loss of use|
|Coverage terms||10/20/25 years, to age 75, or for life||Up to age 80||12 months|
iA car insurance policies offer Basics plans including: civic liability, collision and other perils. Besides, they offer options for additional coverage such as rental vehicle coverage, individual insurance, replacement cost, roadside assistance and more. IA offers a 24/7 hotline and online platform so that their clients can make immediate claims in the event of an accident.
iA offers home insurance services for homeowners and tenants. They also provide numerous discount programs, such as:
- Up to 10% discount if you own other iA Financial Group products, for example, life insurance
- A discount for home and car insurance bundles
- A discount for installing alarm system
- Stability discount for those renting or owning the same property for at least 5 years
iA is among few big insurance carriers that offer coverage for RVs and leisure vehicles, which include:
- Motorhomes and RVs
iA offers mortgage insurance plans that have unique features. For example, policyholders can keep their mortgage insurance when changing the lender. The premium is fixed regardless of health condition.
iA provides two mortgage insurance coverage: Pick-A-Term, in which policyholders can choose the duration of coverage from 10-40 years; and universal loan insurance, in which the coverage lasts for 2 years, 5 years, or up to age 65.
iA also provides travel insurance services that require no medical questions for travelers under 60. They have 4 main plans, including Insurance coverage in case of a medical emergency, coverage for a pre‑existing condition, trip cancellation & interruption coverage and baggage.
Pros and Cons
Industrial Alliance’s strengths
Overall, we believe that iA is a very reliable insurance provider.
First, given its position as one of the largest insurance companies in Canada, along with its excellent ratings by independent rating companies like A.M. Best, clients can entrust their money to iA.
Second, iA has a wide selection of choices for clients. For example, they are one of the few insurance providers that allow customers to choose the term of their policy from periods of 10 to 40 years (Pick-A-Term). Clients can flexibly choose a 12-year term or 18-year term – terms that are not commonly offered by other companies in the market. In addition, they also have specialized whole life insurance for children and elders.
iA is also well-known for its simplified issue insurance. They provide no medical life insurance for both term and permanent coverage through Access Life, with a pretty high face amount in comparison with their competitors.
iA offers a very comprehensive health and disability insurance scheme ( up to 11 products). Therefore, clients can have more choices when choosing these. Also, they are one of the very few insurance providers to provide free critical illness insurance and disability insurance for children (Peek-a-Boo Plan and Kiddy Plan).
Beside providing life insurance, iA also ventures into other areas such as mortgage insurance and Home Insurance. They provide discounts for those who buy multiple policies from their company
Finally, iA has a very user-friendly website for their clients (and potential ones). Their website provides a detailed description of their products, with hotlines and call-to-action buttons.
Industrial Alliance’s weaknesses
iA doesn’t provide the cheapest rate for their insurance (1-2% higher than other companies), but their prices are not among the top expensive.
Perhaps the sole shortcoming that iA needs to work on is providing electronic policy for their clients since until now, clients still have to do with a paper one.
The Bottom Line
To put it short, iA is a very trustable insurance company in Canada. They have a wide range of selections for customers and a solid financial capacity. If you are interested in purchasing a policy from iA, you can consult one of its representatives such as Insurance Direct Canada for more personalized advice, quotes.
There are many good insurance companies in Canada, you can take a look at our reviews for Manulife, Canada Protection Plan, BMO Insurance, TD Insurance Canada, before making the final decision to go with one.